John: After seeing Master P, I wasn’t sure that Romeo would ever turn the corner and let himself go. I think he definitely deserves this award in my book.
Heidi: I also have to give it to Romeo, easily. Kirstie was more of an inverted bell curve – started out good, faltered a good bit, and then got better
Marianya: Romeo… I really grew to like him over the course of the season, I could have gotten used to him being around a bit longer…
Vogue: Yep, Romeo for me too! During the pre-show period and in the beginning, he seemed a little full of himself and I was beginning to get really annoyed when he didn’t want to wear the dance shoes or seemed too cool to get into it all. I didn’t think he’d last long even though you could feel and see a tiny spark there. Then suddenly, he started surprising us all. I loved how he bloomed in so many ways. It was pure joy and even magical watching him when he put the coolness aside and became a class act…..now that was COOL!
Courtney: No disagreement here! I loved watching Romeo really grow throughout the season. I think the turning point was his foxtrot – that was the first time he seemed to really enjoy himself and took the quality of his dancing to a whole new level. By the time he was eliminated, I daresay he was giving Chelsea, Kirstie, Hines & Ralph all a decent run for their money, technique-wise. He also seemed to really grow as a person – he started off the cool cat that thought wearing dance shoes was lame; as the weeks went by, he shed the bravado and the facade and showed a vulnerability I don’t think anyone could’ve expected from him when the season started – except for my mom, who loved him from day 1…she’s got good intuition ;-). Definitely a bright spot of this season for me! As for Kirstie – I kinda agree with Heidi that it wasn’t so much that she improved, but she started off good, kinda fell into a slump, and then recovered and was good again at the end. Chris would probably be my 2nd place on this one – he started off pretty darn bad, then slowly improved before getting dealt a crappy hand (or rather, song & dance) the week he was eliminated. Kendra improved a little bit the last 2 weeks or so that she was in the competition, but I don’t think it was a vast improvement; Petra stayed about the same for me the short time she was around. Write-in responses: Ralph (6), Hines (5), Chelsea (3). I don’t think Hines improved at all – he started off good and remained consistent the entire season. Kinda the same deal with Chelsea – I think she was a good dancer the whole season through, but the ups & downs she had with the judges due to bad choreography choices on Mark’s part probably gave the false impression that she was improving. Big difference between getting good scores w/the judges (which are often skewed to fit their biases) and actually improving As for Ralph – I feel like it’s a bit of the same phenomenon: Ralph really started off good and ended pretty good with the smooth dances, and consistently did bad at the Latin dances…but the way the judges were all over the place with the scores, it often made it seem like he was doing far better (or worse) than he really was.